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Sunday, 23 April 2017

My five tips for when you visit House Style at Chatsworth House



"I fear I've done some things in life too late and others too early."  
Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806)


I think nearly every woman I know in my life would probably agree with the above quotation. 

Georgiana Cavendish, was a duchess first, socialite second and one of the most popular fashionistas in her day. The fashion exhibition House Style at Chatsworth House, plays a nod to all the great women who have links with this house over five centuries.

Throughout this wonderful house, there are lots of beautiful pieces of clothing, jewellery, accessories, photographs and very personal artefacts that really give you a feel for the different generations of family that lived there.

There's lots to see, and you will be enticed to look at every little detail, it was very well laid out. Some of the rooms are perhaps a little dark to really get a good view, however it's important to protect the clothing from sunlight damage. The only thing missing, was a glass of champagne as you walked around!!

You can take pictures throughout, these are some of my favourite.



The grand reception





An evening bag which was so beautiful, so fragile too!




They had a room where current designers made their own version of an historic item.
This was my favourite, Vivienne Westwood, she created this dress inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, you can just about make out the portrait behind.
(Apologies for the dark pictures, as I said we were in very dark rooms) 




Chatsworth House appearing in Vogue - August 1952




My favourite room by far!  Six wedding dresses all worn by the different Duchesses.
For the most part, these women chose simplicity and I just loved that.


My top five tips to make sure you get the most of your visit:

Tip 1
Don't go on your own - the exhibition is quite large for it's kind and there is so much to see, so take a couple of girlfriends and make a day of it.  And dress up, why not, you are going to be surrounded by fabulous items throughout!

Tip 2
Take a picnic - if the weather had been warmer, and as the exhibition goes on until October you will definitely get the chance to, I think it would have been nice to have a traditional British picnic with strawberries and champagne in wonderful garden at the back of the house - it was simply fabulous to sit out there and observe the gardens, the people and just admire the actual house!

Tip 3
Aim to go in the one car -  even if you book online, you have to pay parking per car - so think about how you can all go together

Tip 4
Take your time - there is so much to see and you may feel, as it can be quite busy, to be moved on by the people behind you - just let them pass.  Chatsworth have laid everything out well, and some of the notes to explain items are written by hand, so it will take you a little longer to read them - but I think this is a great personal touch Chatsworth have done here.

Tip 5
Enjoy the gift shop - it was a lovely unique little shop right at the end of the exhibition, and there was another one, which had house and garden items in by the cafes. If you have a few birthdays coming etc, then I would explore their accessories and especially their cards as there was quite a lot you would not get on the high street, I love shops like that!




WHAT I WORE



The day I went, the weather was not so great and I thought the house would be cold, but actually it was very warm.  I wore a simple black polo from Zara and I team this up with my new Sofia striped skirt in black and white from Hush, which I simply love, love love; this hits two Spring trends - monochrome and stripes.  There will be more about this skirt on a future post!











An exhibition exploring five centuries of fashion and adornment at Chatsworth, has been curated by Hamish Bowles, International Editor-at-Large at American Vogue, with creative direction and design by Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda.

On until the 22nd October 2017 and the price is included in the purchase of your house ticket.  To book, click here.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Oh what a week!



Sometimes we have weeks where not much happens, and then we get a week where it all seems to happen at once; it started with a perfect day out at Chatsworth House with two fabulous girlfriends, Annette and Susie. We went to see House Style, a fashion exhibition held within the stately rooms. More on this in my next post!

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you'll know I've been into London for a course on Fashion Blogging by the London College of Fashion.  I met some wonderful ladies who, just like me, are keen to share their knowledge and passion with their readers. Hopefully you can spot my certificate, it's been a while since I've had one of them, so it's pride of place in the centre.

The Vogue book is actually a notebook; I got so many compliments for this and my folder, I thought I'd let you know it's still available from the National Portrait Gallery Shop, and it's in the sale - bonus!

My Rayban aviator sunglasses and the Ark Primer are here to give a nod to the great sunshine we've had over the last few days - hasn't it felt like summer? Glorious.  This primer is still one of my favourite beauty products, plus offering protection of Factor 30.  I never travel without it - and on days when it's too hot for foundation, I simply just put this on.

The Daily Planner - well basically I need to get organised.  I'm so good at being organised at work, but not so much in my own life.  If there is one major point I learnt on my course to get things done, you need to plan.  So I will be.  This beauty was only £8 from Paperchase (really sorry, I cannot find it online).

The book The New Garconne was purchased in at Chatsworth House gift shop; I've not had time to read it, but it looks very exciting.  It appears to be the modern day "know how" by the great business women of today on how to be a Gentlewoman.  I'm sure there will be a post coming up on this in the future.

And finally my iPhone - I never leave home without it.  Instagram is my favourite app and so for that reason alone, I am going to leave you with my three favourite Instagram posts from this week!

Enjoy

x





@Lovedbylizzi

@Lovedbylizzi

@Lovedbylizzi





@Lovedbylizzi


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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Blenheim Palace: A Passion for Fashion






I arrived back from hot Jamaica on Thursday - I've gone back to wearing polo necks (so no showing off the tan) as I'm too cold, plus with a 5-hour time difference and the Summer hour change - Tired?! Let's put it this way, I can't wait for my next lie in!

Instagram @Lovedbylizzi - Montego Bay, Jamaica

My bikini was a hit, I can really recommend it now that I have tested it properly - the bikini top especially was really great - supportive even without using the ties and I found halter-neck was my preferred way to wear it.


Sunday, for Mother's Day (and for her forthcoming birthday), I took my mother to visit the Palace at Woodstock, Blenheim Palace.  What was even more of a treat for us both the palace had collaborated with the House of Dior and pulled together a historical fashion exhibition, "A Passion for Fashion". And whilst it was only a small exhibit, it worked so well amongst the State rooms.  

My favourite was the Long Library which held the original 1954 fashion show in aid of the Red Cross to which Princess Margaret was the guest of honour.

Fashion and history go hand in hand, and this exhibit was one of the better selections of historical clothing I've seen.  Mum and I were surprised to learn that both ladies and gentlemen took fashion so seriously, mainly governed by what the French were doing, that they were truly prepared TO DIE FOR FASHION! - Arsenic was poisoning our Ladies so that they could have bright green dresses, men and women chose to wear make-up that contained lead to ensure they had very light pale skin, it was quite ridiculous what they were prepared to do to ensure they looked the best.

I only took a few pics, and anyway you need to go see for yourself - the exhibit is on until 24th April and with your ticket you get full access to the Palace, their gardens which were simple yet very beautiful, plus full access to view the lake and surrounding parkland.  It's well worth a visit if you've not been before.  











Instagram: @Lovedbylizzi




WHAT I WORE

The day before I went on a little shopping trip, here's one of two garments I purchased at the Hush concession in John Lewis - it's only another jumpsuit!  As soon as I put this on, I fell in love - lots of compliments too from hubby and I know within only a few weeks I will have ticked the value for money box, without a doubt.

I teamed this up with my black pumps from River Island and a khaki cross-over bag from Oasis - and here I am next to one of the gorgeous 1950's Dior dresses.







HUSH


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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day 2017: How will you #BeBoldForChange ?











Today is International Women's Day 2017 - I've taken my pledge for 2017.  If you fancy making a pledge too, then head to the International Women's site by clicking here and select the one that you would love to take action on. 

#BeBoldForChange









Sunday, 5 March 2017

All hail... the high-waisted bikini!

It's always a good time to go on holiday, right?

Well yes and no.  I love the sun, I love the heat but just after winter as we approach spring, I'm a tad reluctant to give up my 100 denier tights, skinny jeans, boots and all those glorious comfy lush jumpers.

In just over a week I have to get in a bikini - that's right!  I'm currently milky white, full of winter and I have to bare all in front of EVERYONE and I'm just not sure I'm ready!

I think the best time of year for us British ladies to relax and chill in the glorious sun is from around June. By this point we've waxed everything off, the legs have been bare for about 8 weeks, we've had a little sun from the picnics, walks in the park, beer gardens and just generally in the garden - we've ate the salads, the lighter evening meals and by this point we are ready.  I've still not given up the comfy winter food, or even thought about baring a leg!

I've been reading previous summer posts I've written about getting ready, and it's made me realise I may just have run out of time; It's finally here! So girls we need to get ready... talks about pedicures (I've booked that!) and getting fit (I take it looking at my cross-trainer doesn't count!) and then there is Summer time essentials - Make the most of it! talks about IF the sun comes out, well where I am going it's currently 30 degrees so I think I've ticked that box!

And so let's talk about bikinis.  A few years back when I was not so happy with my weight, I packed a tankini, now I think these are great for spa days etc, but they are not designed for sunbathing, too much material and it's hard to wear any cover ups, I just felt frumpy - so that's a no, no.

Then there is the one-suit - now there is a huge range of them out there and they do look beautiful, but then my hairdresser told me she got fed up with them on her holiday the hassle of going to the ladies and getting in and out of them - and so this is a no, no too.

And then she told me about the high-waisted bikini - this sounded appealing but met with the cautious "will this make me frumpy too?". I decided to discuss with the younger ladies in my office, who went on to rave about them, decision made - the high-waisted it is!.  After searching the internet, and not forgetting my recent experience, I finally decided on Figleaves, which you can only buy online; an added advantage is they are offering 15% off most lines, simply use SPRING15 when checking out.

I invested in more than one, but this is the one I want to share with you ladies, it's the scuba Byron Bay bikini.  The material even feels a bit like a scuba suit - I'm so chuffed with the quality, the style, plus it fitted first time!  I am truly loving this and whilst I am the most unsportiest person, this is going to say "I am ready for this"; "I am not frumpy" - it says "I am beach ready!"


FIGLEAVES

Byron Beach Underwired Scuba Bikini 
















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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Let's chat... online shopping

I'm a size 14 in clothes.  You would therefore think it would be so so simple to shop away to your hearts content online; choose your colour, choose your size and choose your delivery options and bob's your uncle a lovely delivery lands just when you need it.  (Let's forget the panic attack we all then get when the credit card bill lands 30 days later).

Sounds heavenly, and I envy every single one of you who are lucky enough that your online purchases fit every time.

Each brand simply doesn't make clothes to the sizing matrix we all sign up to; in M&S I'm a 12; in Next it's a 14; in River Island, well put it this way, it's the number I want to cut the label off!  I quite like Fat Face though as I'm frequently a 10 (but not a real 10, because I'm 14 - but it makes me happy nonetheless).

But sizing aside, my recent online spree (purely due to the very lack of time I've had recently to shop) have simply not been what they say on the tin.  Most of my disappointments have been about the quality of the material; when you shop in store you can touch and feel before you even think about putting it on, and if you don't like the material, then you are never ever going to love the outfit.  Images online are so squeaky perfect that I'm now unsure what I'm going to get, and this is where brands can really step up and make a difference.  If as a brand you make a 14 a size 14, and if you make the image truly represent the quality and gives you an indication of what it could possibly feel like, then I think you will get long-term loyalty, and if you don't then we will simply click elsewhere, because who has got the time to be messed about?

Let's take my recent shopping experience with Finery.  Via social media, Finery have been making sponsored posts targeting me. The images looked great, the models looked fabulous - in fact they have built a wonderful website that I thought said, Lizzi, Lizzi, Lizzi. And so I purchased.  I was super excited about my delivery, which came in this really fancy box, I couldn't wait to get home and try it all on.

But sadly the sizing was wrong, two items in size 14, one fitted perfectly the over did not - it wouldn't zip up - so instantly I'm not going to love a brand that makes me bigger!  And then let's talk about the top, I loved the t-shirt style material, it was supersoft and it fitted so perfectly to my body shape.  And then the sleeves, well these are bang on trend for this springtime, tick tick tick - until we get to the flute sleeve material, it's Nylon, as in a duffle bag nylon, I mean rustle rustle nylon that are ridiculous long and far too noisy - now this I didn't see in the image - can you?








Nope, Finery may look like a brand that talks Lizzi, but it doesn't walk it for me. 

And now for the returns - each company has different rules; some you have to log in and seek permission to return, ASOS well they are super smart and make it so simple that I'm thinking "well I will try you again".  But overall, online shopping is hard work; hours spent looking, guessing sizes, waiting and then after lots of trying on, it's packing it all back up, driving to a post office and then waiting for your money to be returned.

Nope it's not for me just yet, well not for clothes anyway - I still want to touch and feel, I want to explore and try 100 garments on in a few hours.  I want the glass of Prosecco over lunch, I want the chat of "should I?" Or "will it go with [enter any garment from your wardrobe here] ?".  

I want the queue for the changing room, I want to carry lots of shopping bags and most of all I want the coffee with all the gossip. Because let's be honest ladies, that is truly what shopping is all about!












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